nice work if you can get it

The Caped Creator

DEVIN GRAYSON didn't pick up a comic book until her ios, long aftermost people have given up reading the exploits of pumped-up heroes against diabolical villains. Now this once-aspiring novelist is among the hottest writers in the comics biz. In January, Grayson becomes the first woman to serve as the regular writer of a Batman series, "Batman: Gotham Knights," new from DC comics.

What's so special about Batman?
He is, in some ways, a father. He raised this kid, DickGrayson, who became Robin. To have this person who's really limited in his ability to be intimate and to communicate raising a kid—I just became completely obsessed with that relationship.

What attracted you to writing comic books?
The way they juxtapose visuals and text is very inviting. Readers have to actively participate to get the story, much more so than watching movies or TV. It's a wonderful medium for telling stories.

How did you break into the business?
In some ways, my naivete was my greatest asset. Having not been a comic book fan my entire life, I wasn't intimidated by the editors. I just started calling the "Bat office" and began a dialogue. I also think there was some interest because I was female. There aren't a lot of women in the industry.

Do you read comics for fun?
I've got a huge pile of "must read for work," "should read because friends wrote them," and "want to read because they look interesting," The piles just get bigger and bigger.

Ever tempted to slip on a costume and fight crime?
To be honest with you, yeah. There are moments when you think to yourself. Why couldn't I? Your chances of surprising a crook into compliance are about as great as your chances of surprising him into shooting you. But it's that 50 percent chance of getting shot that ultimately deters you. -RUSSELL LISSAU

In some ways, my naivete was my greatest asset. I wasn't intimidated."